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Laugh of the Day

[ 22 ] July 31, 2008 |

The audacity of hope:

Stevens’ lawyer had requested that the trial be held as soon as possible because Stevens is up for re-election in November.

“I want to make a request if at all possible that the trial be in October so that he can clear his name before the general elections,” said the attorney, Brendan Sullivan, adding light-heartedly that it was the first time he had ever asked for a speedy trial.

He also proposed moving the trial to Alaska because a majority of the witnesses are there and the events in question took place there.

And because an Alaskan jury, Stevens assumes, would be as likely to convict him as a jury in Maycomb, Alabama, would be to acquit Tom Robinson.

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Comments (22)

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  1. ts says:

    And because an Alaskan jury, Stevens assumes, would be as likely to convict him as a jury in Maycomb, Alabama, would be to acquit Tom Robinson.
    Bravo, sir.

  2. ts says:

    And because an Alaskan jury, Stevens assumes, would be as likely to convict him as a jury in Maycomb, Alabama, would be to acquit Tom Robinson.
    Bravo, sir.

  3. RepubAnon says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the “good heart weak mind” defense holds up: “Oh, I just paid the bills I was given – I never dreamed that they weren’t sending me all the invoices for the work performed! It never even occurred to me to question whether jacking up a house, and building a new first story and furnished basement cost more than what I paid out…”
    Didn’t Bill Clinton try this with his perjury problems – he honestly didn’t believe that getting a blow job constituted “having sex” so it wasn’t a lie?

  4. RepubAnon says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the “good heart weak mind” defense holds up: “Oh, I just paid the bills I was given – I never dreamed that they weren’t sending me all the invoices for the work performed! It never even occurred to me to question whether jacking up a house, and building a new first story and furnished basement cost more than what I paid out…”
    Didn’t Bill Clinton try this with his perjury problems – he honestly didn’t believe that getting a blow job constituted “having sex” so it wasn’t a lie?

  5. Fauxmaxbaer says:

    Not his first client since Ollie North, I hope.

  6. Fauxmaxbaer says:

    Not his first client since Ollie North, I hope.

  7. Bloix says:

    The fact is that the witnesses are in Alaska and the events did take place in Alaska. These are the standards under the federal rules for where a trial should take place. Why should it take place in DC – other than that the prosecutors think they’re more likely to get a conviction with a DC jury?

  8. Bloix says:

    The fact is that the witnesses are in Alaska and the events did take place in Alaska. These are the standards under the federal rules for where a trial should take place. Why should it take place in DC – other than that the prosecutors think they’re more likely to get a conviction with a DC jury?

  9. d says:

    I’m not a lawyer and don’t have the slightest notion of the rules governing these decisions, but I would assume that the decision about trial location would have to take into consideration the fact that Stevens is running for re-election right now.
    Steven’s campaign over the past few weeks has been focused on the notion that “He’s been there for Alaskans; now Alaskans should be there for him.”
    This seems like a non-trivial part of the backdrop. Again, I don’t know the rules that would apply here. But the fact of the matter is that Uncle Ted believes his years of directing federal dollars to this state would earn him enough good will to acquit him if the trial were held here. I would assume a judge would have to consider that in ruling on a change of venue.

  10. d says:

    I’m not a lawyer and don’t have the slightest notion of the rules governing these decisions, but I would assume that the decision about trial location would have to take into consideration the fact that Stevens is running for re-election right now.
    Steven’s campaign over the past few weeks has been focused on the notion that “He’s been there for Alaskans; now Alaskans should be there for him.”
    This seems like a non-trivial part of the backdrop. Again, I don’t know the rules that would apply here. But the fact of the matter is that Uncle Ted believes his years of directing federal dollars to this state would earn him enough good will to acquit him if the trial were held here. I would assume a judge would have to consider that in ruling on a change of venue.

  11. Rune says:

    Stevens, by motion in the D.C. court, could raise the issue of forum non conveniens, an expression that has endured over the centuries even though “inconvenient forum” works just as well.
    As a general rule, the DOJ’s choice of forum (D.C.) would be given a lot of weight unless Stevens can show that most of the witnesses and evidence can be found in Alaska. He would also have to persuade the court that the D.C. forum was chosen to cause inconvenience or “vexation” for the defense.
    On its face, it would seem that Stevens has a tenable argument for moving the trial. If he succeeds, there’s plenty of reason to believe that he might obtain a jury nullification of the charges. In effect, a sympathetic jury could simply choose to ignore what may be a mountain of evidence against him.
    But a change of forum would probably guarantee that the trial wouldn’t be conducted until well after the election, which was quite likely anyway. The bogus request for a “speedy trial” was mainly for PR purposes anyway.

  12. Rune says:

    Stevens, by motion in the D.C. court, could raise the issue of forum non conveniens, an expression that has endured over the centuries even though “inconvenient forum” works just as well.
    As a general rule, the DOJ’s choice of forum (D.C.) would be given a lot of weight unless Stevens can show that most of the witnesses and evidence can be found in Alaska. He would also have to persuade the court that the D.C. forum was chosen to cause inconvenience or “vexation” for the defense.
    On its face, it would seem that Stevens has a tenable argument for moving the trial. If he succeeds, there’s plenty of reason to believe that he might obtain a jury nullification of the charges. In effect, a sympathetic jury could simply choose to ignore what may be a mountain of evidence against him.
    But a change of forum would probably guarantee that the trial wouldn’t be conducted until well after the election, which was quite likely anyway. The bogus request for a “speedy trial” was mainly for PR purposes anyway.

  13. witless chum says:

    The fucked up thing about this is that the crime is failure to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars a corporation just handed over to him.
    So handing Senators hundreds of thousands of dollars is a-okay, so long as they disclose it?

  14. witless chum says:

    The fucked up thing about this is that the crime is failure to disclose the hundreds of thousands of dollars a corporation just handed over to him.
    So handing Senators hundreds of thousands of dollars is a-okay, so long as they disclose it?

  15. spencer says:

    Not his first client since Ollie North, I hope.
    I *thought* that’s why I recognized that name.

  16. spencer says:

    Not his first client since Ollie North, I hope.
    I *thought* that’s why I recognized that name.

  17. Hogan says:

    the events did take place in Alaska.
    If the charges relate to filing false disclosure forms with the Senate Ethics Committee, then no, they didn’t.

  18. Hogan says:

    the events did take place in Alaska.
    If the charges relate to filing false disclosure forms with the Senate Ethics Committee, then no, they didn’t.

  19. T. Paine says:

    Re: Bloix v. Hogan and forum non conveniens.


    I love practicing law.

  20. T. Paine says:

    Re: Bloix v. Hogan and forum non conveniens.


    I love practicing law.

  21. Cliffy says:

    Hogan’s got the better argument here, I think, especially since the illicit conduct on the part of VECO was directed at influencing Stevens’ actions in the District. Stevens lives here most of the year. And of course, it’s pretty silly for Sullivan to be arguing the inconvenience of the forum in a courthouse that’s less than a 15 minute walk from both his office and Stevens’ in favor of one that’s a seven hour flight away.

  22. Cliffy says:

    Hogan’s got the better argument here, I think, especially since the illicit conduct on the part of VECO was directed at influencing Stevens’ actions in the District. Stevens lives here most of the year. And of course, it’s pretty silly for Sullivan to be arguing the inconvenience of the forum in a courthouse that’s less than a 15 minute walk from both his office and Stevens’ in favor of one that’s a seven hour flight away.

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